The selling of who we may love has finally reached its expiration date.
In a country that long prided itself on endless choices of toothpaste, breakfast cereal and shampoos, for far too long there really was only one choice when it came to who you could love.
You stuck with the brand you knew and trusted.
Heterosexual – It’s the right brand. Time tested, dependable , AMA approved, loved by millions. Don’t accept substitutes.
Don’t Box me In
Today there is a cultural shift as we slowly begin to shrug off the need for definitions and labels in how we conceive gender or who our society has told us we should be sexually attracted to.
From Facebook and its 50 shades of gender to Miley Cryus discussing her sexual fluidity, the choices are widening, encouraging those who are uncomfortable being slotted into a gender binary.
Appearing in an interview in Paper magazine the 22-year-old agent provocateur discussed the fluidity of both her sexuality and her gender identification stating :
“I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age.”
Cyrus’s comment is in line with an approach to sexuality that is gathering momentum among her fellow millennials and a departure with the conventions of the past.
The Normal Heart…Love Honor and Obey
With the media obsessed with defining and exaggerating gender codes of masculinity and femininity, never was the insistence that everyone fit into a heterosexual cisgender model stronger than in mid-century America.
The media was obsessed with defining and exaggerating gender codes of masculinity and femininity.
Images of the nuclear family and happy heterosexuals as the norm permeated popular culture, scattering its potent assumptions of family, marriage and who we should love deep into our collective psyches.
When it came learning about love, mid-century teen girls turned to romance comics, ground zero of mid-century hetero-normative love. The wholesome advise offered was more akin to Hannah Montana than Miley Cyrus.
With names such as Young Romance, Girls Love and Secret Hearts , the colorful, pulpy pages were filled with heart throbbing stories about the rocky road to love in the quest for Mr Right.
The formulaic stories were instructive, telling the readers how to find a man, how to keep him, how to be beautiful for him and most important how to get him to put a ring on your finger.
Skating on Thin Ice
There was only one path to true happiness and anyone who veered from that was headed for trouble. . Fast girls who got pregnant got the shame they deserved but could be redeemed, but a girl who wasn’t boy crazy? Unthinkable!
No one wanted to be thought of as being “That Kind of Girl!”
Let’s follow the instructive story of “Liz” the non too subtly named Tomboy who queerly shows no interest in boys .Despite the taunts leering comments and shaming pointed our way our hero er …heroine stands firm.
That is until… she meets the Right boy, in a story entitled “That Strange Girl!”
That Strange Girl
Failure to conform to these confining roles meant there was a whole lot of shaming going on.
The Key to Femininity
She Doesn’t Go For Boys!
What Do You Think I Was…?
This story appeared in a romance comic from the early 1970s. Still grounded in the morality of the 1950s’s, the Love Comics genre could never adjust to the new changing morality despite trying to deal with contemporary themes, eventually dealing a death knell for romance comics.
Today’s changing morality has likewise signaled a death knell to limitations on love.
By the end of June, the month long associated with love and weddings, the Supreme Court will issue a milestone decision about the right of two men or 2two women to exchange marriage vows, extending same sex marriage to all 50 states, making it the law of the land.
(©) 20015 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved
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